Roadblock for karate comp
The Margaret River Karate Club’s plans for their international tournament in August have hit a snag, with a team of eight Nepalese competitors refused entry into the country.
Team leader Mukundra Maharjan said visas for the eight Nepalese nationals were declined, potentially motivated by fears international competitors might seek asylum, as occurred in April’s Commonwealth Games.
“Sounds like Australia has the jitters about athletes competing here, for fear they may abscond and apply for asylum,” he said in an email.
“Are there options for us to have the ruling reversed?”
Club spokesman Marius Dakin said the impasse over visas was disappointing and cast a cloud over the 2018 USKU Shotokan because it was an international competition.
About 150 competitors were expected to take part, with flow-on effects for the wider community.
“The three-day event will bring a sizeable amount of money to the community during the tail-end of winter, which traditionally is a pretty quiet time for local businesses,” he said.
“This could have dire consequences for us and inadvertently affect the success of the tournament.
“Not to mention the small group of club members who are working endlessly in preparation for this major event — we have a pretty extensive program on offer which we hope won’t be jeopardised,” Mr Dakin said.
The club was still waiting to hear if the Malaysian contingent received visas. Mr Dakin feared declined visas could “potentially alienate other countries too”.
A media officer from the Department of Home Affairs would not be drawn on “individual cases” .
“All non-citizens applying for visas to enter Australia are considered on a case-by-case basis and against the legal requirements set out in Australia’s migration legislation,” the officer said.
“All visa applicants are required to provide certain documents to support their visa application. All non-citizens wishing to visit Australia must satisfy standard visa criteria, including applicable health, character, security and temporary stay requirements, before a visa can be granted.”
The Nepalese Embassy’s Perth honorary consult Fred Brown said he was unaware of the visa applications and would contact Canberra.